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Every now and then I get a request for a reprint. This one was done in 2015 and is about wooden wagons. Hope you enjoy it.

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How well I remember all the childhood illnesses, except whooping cough, since I was a child and cannot remember. I have mentioned Dr. S. Boyd McClary previously, but he cared for me as a child and into my 20s. Dr. Boyd was a pleasant and caring person and made house calls as was the custom i…

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The word vacation can mean a lot of different things according to whom you ask. Some think about camping out, while others dream of extended travel to historic places like national parks. Some prefer to stay home like my grandfather Swann. He was afraid the L&N might need him in a crisis…

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I have heard the title of today's column since I was a kid. I asked a lot of questions as a youngster, but I'm sure I left out the one about the hog. I think it is in one way connected to women's suffrage. If that sounds strange, just hold your horses (I know what that means) and I will even…

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Recently, two gentlemen came before the Etowah City Commission, identifying themselves as the Haunted Travelers. They desired to use their technical equipment to see if they could find any ghosts in the Gem Theater. We all voted to give them the okay. I thought if they found one, I wanted to…

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Starting in the mid-'40s, I began to notice a difference in cars, especially as to shape. During World War II, car manufacturing came almost to a standstill. Only necessary delivery businesses could buy them.

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Over the past year, I have read a great deal about economic development, growth, and new businesses that are on the horizon. I am encouraged. I have always enjoyed seeing Etowah and other towns and cities grow. None of this column is in anyway meant to be negative but possibly to only invoke…

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Well, Christmas has come and gone. However, this year invoked memories going way back to my childhood.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: David James is taking time off from writing his weekly "Yesterday In Etowah" column during the holiday season. The following column was originally published in The Daily Post-Athenian on March 18, 2015. If there is one of his columns you'd like to see re-printed in The DPA, ca…

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EDITOR'S NOTE: David James is taking time off from writing his weekly "Yesterday In Etowah" column during the holiday season. The following column was originally published in The Daily Post-Athenian on Dec. 2, 2015. If there is one of his columns you'd like to see re-printed in The DPA, call…

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Two weeks back I read a story from a guest columnist in the Knoxville News- Sentinel titled, "Four reasons not to tear down old buildings." It was written by a writer named Faris Eid. I do not know Mr. Eid but want to give him credit for something that reflects on Etowah.

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Even after they grow up, they tend to remain the same. I have seen signs in homes that say "The only difference between men and boys is the size of their toys." The sign will show pictures of fishing boats, motorcycles and other expensive "toys" men have bought.

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Due to the recent desire by a great many Etowah merchants to keep City Hall downtown, such made me recall how my parents, grandparents and even I depend on them. Using the word "merchants" would include all person operating a business in our city. I cannot list y experience with all of them …

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I was certainly young in 1944 and 45 but old enough to be aware that the adults read the newspaper each day about World War II. Since he was President and Commander-In- Chief, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was just as much in the news. Politics aside, FDR was loved and respected and did a great …

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Indeed I have written about softball (fastpitch) being King, not only in Etowah but all over the entire southeast. As a kid I was mesmerized by the likes of Red Bruce, Buster Stephens, Claude Parsons and Foozy Cox. Little did I know that I would later in life play in the faltering days of fa…

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Just last week a reader stopped me in a store and we were discussing the early years and he asked me about where a particular grocery store was located around the late '40s. We began to talk about all the old groceries and filling stations and thus came the title of my column today. Grocery …

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This column was inspired by Jere Miller when I stopped on Sunday evening in the middle of the street. Jere was walking his dog. Like always, we always get around to talking about the past. Jere mentioned if I remember that some people shared a "common" garage. Now that meant that there was o…

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Well, schools across the county are now back in full swing and what I see and read takes me back to my early school days and the start of my time at Etowah Grammar School which is now gone. The school and playground took up a full block between 5th and 6th Streets and between Indiana and Lou…

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Being a high school and college history major, I get excited when I see, obtain or come in possession of any print media that is older than I am. Three days ago, Etowah Mayor Gene Keller, who is also a close friend, made my hair stand up on end and goose pimples stand up on my arms.

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Here it is Tuesday and the eclipse is over and I'm a day late writing this in that our library was closed without advance notice. Yes, I watched the eclipse with my wife but only because she was interested and wanted to see the phenomenon. As for me personally I would rather watch grass grow…

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I recently saw several notices in The DPA where area churches were having "Homecoming" and it immediately reminded me of my youth and my experience with the same. Some church homecomings are very close to where we live while some folks have to travel many miles to get back to where they grew…

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For the most part, not many of us even think of having to hitch up a horse and wagon to go to town or need a restroom and only an outhouse is available. (Explain this to your grandkids.) While this writer is sitting at a computer at Carnegie Library, typing away on this column, it was not al…

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Seventy-four years ago, this writer had a special, daily playmate. Last Friday that same playmate was buried beside her husband at the Green Hill Cemetery which was started by her grandfather, Col. D.B. Todd who also was Etowah's postmaster for many years.

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Before starting this column I want to note that I left out of last week's column the fact that the elevator for our library was made possible when members of the Etowah Presbyterian Church closed and was sold. The members there lobbied to the East Tennessee Presbytery to allow the money to b…

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By the time this "Yesterday" goes to press, we may well know if a new business has located in Etowah. The nature of this new venture would be a taxi service. Not so fast, my friends! Etowah at one time might well have been a Mecca of taxicabs. I remember, I rode in them.

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We will get the first items out of the way here at the start. Recently, I mentioned that in the late 1940s, there were three "caf s" located in Etowah. Leave it to Kay Dobbs Melton to prove me wrong and she even had a photo to prove it. I had said that the caf ' consisted of Roy's Caf , Mung…

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In a day of increased homelessness and despair by many, I noted something last week that made me a bit curious. Before explaining, I see what we have tagged as panhandling or begging. I believe that many folks just like me are no longer sure of who is truly in need and who is not. Some may b…

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At my church, First Baptist of Etowah, I was given an idea for today's column. My pastor, the Rev. Allen Lovelace, was making his morning announcements, when he mentioned the upcoming Vacation Bible School (VBS), Now at age 76, this writer pays little attention to times or places where Bible…

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From the early 1950s through the early portion of the next decade, recreation for teens and adults in and around Etowah was limited. Sure the drugstores were open until 11 p.m. mainly for young people to hang out but that and the theater were about all that was available. Ah, when summer arr…

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Last week I had to buy a box of screws. If this sounds strange and unusual, just bear with me! The problem came when I only needed two screws. How many remember when you could go to Powell Hardware or Pomp Taylor's and they had hundreds of drawers of all shapes and sizes of screws and bolts?…

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Looking back 49 years and possibly 80, there were things, places, people or time in and around Etowah that some can recall and that others might not remember. Let's see how you do! As twice in the past, we will number each of them and do the same with the answers at the end. We suggest you r…

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Names have always fascinated me especially if they are unusual. My Dad used to tell me that JFG coffee stood for the three owners who were named Jeffery, Frank and George. I'm not sure if that was factual. Some names stand the test of time and there are those that come and go. As for the unu…

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A friend approached me last week about something I referred to in a recent column. It concerned the fact that kids today were missing a lot of "true" fun because of electronic devices occupying their time. I know I have mentioned some of the late 1940s and early '50s games that we just thoug…

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We pay tribute and honor to a native Etowahan and career journalist who graduated from Etowah High and became one of the top journalists in the State of Tennessee. While now deceased, Willard Yarbrough, made writing more readable, more interesting and more timely. He started as a sophomore a…

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Wandering around Carnegie Library amid all the books made me begin to wonder how much people's reading habits had changed in the past 65 years. That would make me around 10 to 12 years old if we go back that far. One thing that has affected the youth, as well as adults, the most is the inven…

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I went to both Cleveland and Athens last week and a lot of what I saw reminded me of how great Etowah (or even Athens) was in or around 1950 on Saturday. This writer spent nine miserable years in Chattanooga battling traffic, crowds and other forms of congestion. Don't ever go there except f…

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Naturally everyone has their likes and dislikes about time periods concerning "Yesterday." Some love to read about the 1920s and others prefer the 1960s. I try to go back and forth on some time periods in order to make all the readers happy. A couple of friends and I were talking about when …

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I really enjoy happy stories and pleasant endings so I will go back to the 1960s and begin with one of my most-favorite persons. That would be Carolyn (Bivens) Greenlee. Carolyn had two brothers who most folks in the area came to know very well. They were Lewis Carl (Pee Wee) Bivens and Jerr…

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I noted in a recent column that I had 197 channels coming into my home but could find only two shows worth watching on a given evening. The next night I began to notice how stupid some of the commercials are and at the same time realized most of us do not understand what they mean at all! Th…

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I believe it was Clayton Clendenen that I once told that I was confused and he said it was not that unusual. I just said it to the wrong person. Even as far back as pre-school, there were things that I did not understand. I looked carefully many times at our chimney and to this day I don't k…

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Just last week I had several chores to do. In Iowa they say chore and here we say errand or odd jobs. I had to go to Piggly Wiggly and get some groceries, and Dollar General to get soap, toothpaste, 409, Shout and bottled water. I was then back in my car and headed for a minor transaction at…

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I became a movie fan early in life. I was attending movies with my parents when I was three years old. I only went then for popcorn and the cartoon because at that time the movies your parents attended held no interest for a three- or four-year-old. As far as my likes and taste, they have ch…

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Something happened to jog my memory about the name of a certain highway. The name was one I had not heard of or thought of in years, so I decided to do some research. How many are old enough, like me, to remember that U.S. Highway 411 running through Etowah was very commonly referred to as M…

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 Many newspapers and columnists, as well, in their first issue of each New Year will focus on the events of the past 12 months. Many give it a name, something like “The Year In Review.” I always enjoyed reading such and consid­ered doing the same with “Yesterday In Etowah.” I then thought th…

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